- The Wall Street Journal released a report connecting streaming services to the declining fertility rate in the U.S.
- Some, including Netflix, have expressed doubt in the connection, pointing to it being a decades-long trend.
The Wall Street Journal released an article on Sunday that asked if streaming video services are responsible for the falling fertility rate in the United States, a theory that made some roll their eyes.
The article, titled “Let’s Watch Netflix: Three Words Guaranteed to Kill a Romantic Mood”, laid out the possible factors, like subject matter and availability, that could lead to a drop in intimate time for some couples.
According to the CDC, in 2017 the U.S. reached a 30-year low in birth rates. While there are many possible contributors to this trend, some demographers say that this decline is due in part to the recession, while others say it has to do with long-term birth control.
The Wall Street Journal’s article featured couples, some who say they are trying to have children, that feel streaming services get in the way of their sex lives. “I literally just want to Netflix and chill. We stop there,” said a woman named Amber Lozzi.
The couples bring up the issue of subject matter in many binge-able shows like “Ozark”, “Narcos”, and “Breaking Bad”, which some feel aren’t the sexiest shows.
A man named Brandon Howlett told the WSJ: “Right now, we’re in the midst of getting through ‘The Punisher,’ and a lot of that doesn’t really put us in the frisky mood.” But he added that the show “Sex Education,” does. The Wall Street Journal even completed a survey on this topic, which found that one in four adults in relationships have chosen streaming television over sex in the past six months.
Dr. Jean Twenge, the lead author and a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, said that the lack of commercial breaks and the neverending supply of things to watch leaves little time for intimacy. She is quoted saying: “Now, if you’re watching something streaming, the next episode is immediately available, and there are no commercials where you could look over and say, ‘Honey, you look cute tonight.’”
Netflix Denies Connection
Netflix did give the Wall Street Journal a statement where they denied the connection and said that on average people watch 2 hours of their service a day.
A spokesperson also said “We take pride in being part of the cultural zeitgeist, but getting credit for a decadeslong decline in sex is beyond even our programming abilities.”
After the article came out some people took issue with the connection it drew. Some pointed out how ridiculous it is was that Netflix even responded to the theory that they are at the root of a three-decade trend.
Some pointed to other results from the survey that the WSJ had done, like the fact that 70 percent of those surveyed said that streaming habits had “no effect” on their sex lives and 17 percent said their habits led to more sex.
Others have linked the decline in birthrates to the increase in people that aren’t having sex. According to data from the General Social Survey, more people than ever are reporting that they are not having sex.
There are a couple of main theories for the increase. The first one is an aging population, the 60 and older demographic jumped from 18 percent of the population in 1996 to 23 percent in 2018. The share of this group reporting “no sex” has remained consistent at about 50 percent, but the increase in this group’s size impacts the total.
The second contributing factor to the rise is actually the 18 to 29 age group. Between 2008 and 2018 the number of 18 to 29-year-olds reporting “no sex” more than doubled to 23 percent.
See what others are saying: (Slate) (The Guardian) (Decider)
Alabama Public Television Refuses to Air Arthur Episode Featuring Same-Sex Marriage
- The season premiere of the animated series “Arthur” earlier this month featured a same-sex wedding between Arthur’s teacher Mr. Ratburn and his partner, a chocolatier named Patrick.
- The episode was met with much praise from LGBTQ rights supporters, but Alabama Public Television decided not to air the episode.
- APT said parents trust that their children can watch without supervision and since most parents might not have heard about the content, the network decided that airing it would be “a violation of trust.”
“Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone”
Alabama Public Television decided not to air PBS’ recent episode of the animated series “Arthur,” which featured a same-sex marriage.
The episode entitled “Mr.Ratburn and the Special Someone,” is the first of the show’s 22nd season. In it, Arthur’s third-grade teacher Mr.Ratburn, marries his partner, a chocolatier named Patrick at a wedding attended by some of his students.
The show aired across the nation on May 13 and was met with widespread praise from LGBTQ rights supporters. However, Alabama Public Television (APT) decided against airing the episode.
Mike McKenzie, director of programming at APT, told NBC News that PBS sent a message to stations in mid-April alerting them “to possible viewer concerns about the content of the program.”
McKenzie and others at APT viewed the episode and decided not to broadcast it. Instead APT chose to air a re-run. “Parents have trusted Alabama Public Television for more than 50 years to provide children’s programs that entertain, educate and inspire,” McKenzie said in an email to AL.com.
“More importantly — although we strongly encourage parents to watch television with their children and talk about what they have learned afterwards — parents trust that their children can watch APT without their supervision. We also know that children who are younger than the ‘target’ audience for ‘Arthur’ also watch the program.”
McKenzie went on to say that if they aired the program, APT would take away the choice of parents who felt it was inappropriate content for their children to watch.
“The vast majority of parents will not have heard about the content, whether they agree with it or not,” he said. “Because of this, we felt it would be a violation of trust to broadcast the episode.”
In a phone call with TheWrap, McKenzie explained a bit further saying, “Our concern is with the subject matter, the marriage of Mr. Ratburn and the other gentleman.”
“We have a fairly large number of people who have a problem with teaching that to their children.”
As of now, the network has no plans to air the episode at a later time. According to McKenzie, parents who want to share the episode with their children can access the episode online at pbs.org.
The news sparked outrage on social media. In several tweets criticizing the decision, many users referenced Alabama’s new abortion law that prohibits the procedure at any stage of pregnancy, making no exceptions for victims of rape or incest. Others called the move an act of censorship
This is not the first time APT has refused to air an “Arthur” episode featuring a same-sex couple. According to AL.com, in 2005 the network pulled an episode in which the character Buster visited a girl who had two mothers.
At the time, then-executive director Allan Pizzato issued a similar statement saying,“’Our feeling is that we basically have a trust with parents about our programming. This program doesn’t fit into that.”
Game of Thrones Finale Leaves Some Fans Disappointed
- Game of Thrones ended its run on Sunday night and after eight seasons some fans were left confused and disappointed by the ending.
- On top of that, there were more out-of-universe beverages left on-screen, except this time instead of a Starbucks cup, two water bottles snuck their way into the show.
- Some fans are hoping that the book series, which has not yet concluded, will do a better job of closing the story, but they might still be disappointed.
The ending of last night’s finale for Game of Thrones left some fans complaining about the writing once again and incited new frustrations over two water bottles that made it on-screen.
After the questionable choices made in last week’s episode, many fans were expecting to be disappointed by the ending and oh boy were they. This isn’t really surprising since the petition to redo season 8 with “competent writers” now has more than one million signatures.
It’s also probably the reason why showrunner David Benioff told Entertainment Weekly that he and D.B. Weiss planned to spend the finale “drunk and far away from the Internet.”
After finding out who would sit on the Iron Throne, fans complained that the ending ignored foreshadowing from previous seasons.
The sad thing is…if this ending has been properly set up…I would have liked it. It feels fitting. Just not HOW they got there. #GameOfThrones— S. Jae-Jones (JJ) (@sjaejones) May 20, 2019
However there were some people that felt the ending stayed true to the characters and followed through on what was set up.
On Rotten Tomatoes Season 8 is the lowest rated season with about 70 percent compared to every other season that has more than 90 percent approval. Sunday’s episode specifically has a score of 58 percent, which is still not the lowest rated of this season. That spot is still claimed by last week’s episode, “The Bells.”
Out-of-Universe Beverages Part II: The Water Bottles
To add to the frustrations around the season, there were two water bottles left on-screen during the same scene. Though unlike the Starbucks cup that has since been digitally removed, both of the water bottles were partially hidden underneath chairs and behind legs.
What About the Books?
Amid all of the complaints and calls for a rewrite, some are hoping that the books behind the series will have a better ending since the show raced ahead of where author George R. R. Martin left off a few seasons ago.
Martin told Weiss and Benioff his plans for how he imagined the story should continue, however, the writers still made some narrative changes.
Even so, the changes might not be too far off from how the book series will close. In an interview with 60 Minutes last month, Martin said, “I don’t think Dan and Dave’s ending is gonna be that different from my ending.”
So, for now, fans will have to wait and see if the books will end in a more satisfying way, especially after the response the final season faced.
See what others are saying: (Fox News) (New York Times) (AV Club)
Over 500,000 Fans Sign Petition to Redo Latest Game of Thrones Season With “Competent Writers”
- Following a particularly upsetting episode of Game of Thrones, some fans are calling for the final season to be completely redone with “competent writers.”
- One petition on change.org has more than 500,000 signatures.
After a few rocky episodes of Game of Thrones, some fans are voicing their displeasure by signing petitions to redo the season with new writers to replace David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
One Change.org petition that says Weiss and Benioff are “woefully incompetent writers,” has more than 500,000 signatures. “This series deserves a final season that makes sense. Subvert my expectations and make it happen, HBO!”
There is one hidden gem among the handful of other petitions with fewer signatures calling for a redo. That petition wants to “Hire Hannah Waddingham to walk behind D&D (Game of Thrones Producers)”
And it only has 3,800 signatures? SHAME!
The episode that aired last weekend titled “The Bells,” really missed a lot of peoples’ expectations for the ending of the series. Episode 3 “The Long Night,” drew complaints about the lighting in some scenes being too dark.
Then there was that infamous Starbucks cup situation, where a cup was accidentally left in a scene.
There have also been complaints about pacing. Some say that in the last few seasons the show has had a faster pace than before. Others say this new season is a let down after seven seasons of build up, but the episodes are still averaging 43 million viewers per episode.